Thursday, April 16, 2015

In view of the rattling evidence in Court, will the Education Ministry conduct an inquiry for possible actions against the Examinations Syndicate officials?

Press Statement by M. Kula Segaran, DAP National Vice Chairman and MP for Ipoh Barat in Seremban on 16th April 2014

In view of the rattling evidence in Court, will the Education Ministry conduct an inquiry for possible actions against the Examinations Syndicate officials?
Subbarau, who teaches at SJKT Ladang Batang Benar, has been charged with five offences under Section 8 (1) (c) of the Official Secrets Act 1972 for allegedly involved in last year’s leak of UPSR papers (OSA). The charges under this Act are serious as if found guilty the accused gets a minimum sentence of 1 year for each offence with a maximum of 7 years. So for 5 offences he could be in jail for a maximum of 35 years!

Today the Court delivered its decision.

It was alleged that the accused knowingly sent out via WhatsApps UPSR question papers of 2014 which exam papers were apparently classified as “Official Secret” under the Act. The classification was done by the then Malaysian Examinations Syndicate director Dr Na'imah Ishak.

Dr Na’imah in evidence has said that she could not confirm who leaked out the questions.
A total of 44 exam papers were classified as "secret" by Dr. Na'imah. She had accordingly signed and dated the classification. These 44 papers are the total exam papers set for UPSR schools nation wide( National,Chinese and Tamil).Classifying the UPSR exam papers as "Secret" so it thus becomes a secret document under the OSA.

During cross examination she conceded there were amendments to 6 of the total 44 UPSR papers after they were classified as "Secret". Apparently the amendments were on the format and the contents of the UPSR questions.

The 6 papers were 1) Mathematics 2) Science SK 3) Tamil Pemahaman 4) Tamil penulisan 5) Mathematica 1 SJKT 6) mathematics 2 SJKT.

So she had to reclassify these 6 papers as they are now considered as new exam papers. She accordingly inserts signatures at all the 6 papers when classifying them as "Secret". Unfortunately no dates were inscribed on the amended items. Thus the 6 UPSR exam appears have no dates mention to classify it as "Secret". So strictly the 6 UPSR exam papers are not SECRET documents within in the meaning of OSA.

For mathematics paper 015/1 she had wrongly classified it as mathematics paper 2 when the paper code would have been mathematics paper 1. When asked about this discrepancy she replied “ terlepas pandang”. Also she conceded she has been careless and accepted responsibility for all the mistakes.

On 27th January this year, the two senior Examinations Syndicate officials who were suspended last September over the UPSR exam paper leaks have been cleared of wrongdoing by Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. Malaysia Boleh!

The Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin has, when suspending the officials, said that incidents like this will raise questions about the integrity of the examination syndicate and the overall public examinations system in the country.

In view of the rattling evidence in court will the Ministry conduct an open inquiry for possible action against the officials? Can we expect changes and improvements in the system? Or will these be treated as trivial matters which will be swept under the carpet?

The investigation officer (IO) is one ASP Irwan. The IO gathered from a police report lodged by Nik Suhaimi that a teacher had sent all these questions from Johore to a top examination Officer Nik Suhaimi. When I asked the IO did he call up the teacher from Johore for investigation he said no. Why was this teacher from Johore not charged like all others?

He further said the accused was remanded for 4 days although he had asked the court for 7days. When I asked what he had investigated on day one of arrest, he had replied he wasn’t sure. He gave the same answer for the second and third day. Only on the fourth day, he took down a statement and released the accused.

Why the need to remand the accused for four days when investigation was completed by taking a statement. Why the need to handcuff from his house and dragged to police lock up? Subrao was treated inhumanly. This was a gross abuse of police powers.

The IO had abused his position by detaining a citizen for more days than required, thus due action should be taken against him.

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